Heat guard Jimmy Butler celebrated his team’s series-ending victory over the 76ers in Game 6 of the conference semifinals by trashing Tobias Harris. The 11th-year veteran did not hold back. As Butler walked into the locker room, the guard was filmed yelling, “Tobias Harris over me?!” And his expletive-filled rant in the video refers to the 76ers’ decision to sign-and-trade him in 2019.
During the 2019 offseason, NBA analysts believed Jimmy Butler was a cheaper option for the 76ers organization. But maybe it wasn’t about the money. That part is unknown. In the end, the 76ers front office chose Tobias Harris instead. For the sign-and-trade agreement with the Heat, on Jul. 6, 2019, Butler signed a four-year, $140.7 million contract.
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Furthermore, before the trade deadline during the 2018-19 season, the Clippers agreed to shop Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic and Mike Scott to the 76ers for Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, Landry Shamet and two future first-round and second-round draft picks.
In 27 games played with the 76ers in the 2018-19 season, Harris averaged 18.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. The Sixers were pleased by what they saw. On Jul. 10, 2019, the forward signed a five-year, $180 million contract with the team.
Jimmy Butler has played better than Tobias Harris
To be fair, Butler averaged 18.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and four assists per game with Philadelphia in the 2018-19 season. So, the front office had to pick one player or the other based on their recent performances. 76ers general manager Elton Brand rolled the dice, and it appears this decision was the wrong one.
Offensively, Butler is a proven player. He averaged 21.4 points per game during this regular season. On the other hand, Harris averaged 17.2 points per game. Harris is better for rebounds and protecting the paint, but to get the most out of a multimillion-dollar contract, it’s more ideal for a player to dominate the playoffs.
Not to mention, Ben Simmons, Josh Richardson and Al Horford were on the roster that season as well. Needless to say, aside from Joel Embiid, Harris is the only one left with the 76ers right now. Butler has no hard feeling towards Embiid, so this is strictly directed at Harris and the Sixers’ front office.
Regarding Embiid, Butler said, “That I love him. I’m proud of him. Yes, yes, yes, I still wish I was on his team. I definitely love the Miami Heat, though, man. I’m glad that I’m here, but I’ve got so much respect and love for Joel Embiid.”
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On Thursday, in the Heat’s 99-90 win over the 76ers in Game 6 of the conference semifinals, Jimmy Butler led his team in scoring with 32 points. Of course, Tobias Harris ended his performance with 14 points and eight rebounds. While still a solid effort by Harris, Butler is more clutch when push comes to shove.